Tesco is to begin the roll out of standardised product data across all its suppliers from early next year as it strives to cut costs from its supply chain.
John Mooney, the Tesco senior business analyst who is heading up the move to Global Data Synchronisation (GDS), said he didn’t see why all suppliers couldn’t get involved, with even smaller companies being urged to adopt the global standard, including the introduction of universal barcoding.
The move would mean that the data used to describe and verify products by a supplier would be identical regardless of which retailer was selling them, eliminating the need for each shop to manually input data and thereby reducing resulting errors. The initiative received a mandate from the Tesco board last year, but it is still working on the lengthy and complex process of trawling through its own data and that of suppliers, and putting in place a detailed design for the business system.
Mooney said: “From our perspective, it means we are delegating management of product information to suppliers, so there’s an efficiency saving for us. It will make our supply chain flow better.
“We would get the maximum benefit if all our suppliers followed the same process. If there are some that find adoption too complicated, then we can work with them to find ways to work around it.”
According to Mooney, GDS will form the basis of its New Buying System programme and it will roll out to all categories from groceries to toys and electricals after a three-month pilot early next year.
Rachel Barnes